Whether your morning routine includes a full ten step skincare ritual or just a splash of water, you more than likely apply deodorant every day, especially in the height of summer. But have you ever considered what makes your deodorant work? At Glasshouse, we are constantly looking for ways to detox our bathroom cupboard and in recent years we have seen a host of new brands creating naturally based alternatives that effectively neutralise body odour without the use of potentially harmful chemicals. If like us you’re considering opting for a more natural route, here are a few things you may want to consider when you go to buy your next deodorant.
First things first, we recommend using a deodorant, as opposed to an antiperspirant. You’ll be forgiven for thinking that they are the same, but allow us to go over the basics. An antiperspirant works by blocking your sweat ducts, preventing or reducing the amount of sweat your body produces, whereas a deodorant works by eradicating the bacteria that cause body odour. Unlike an antiperspirant a deodorant won’t actually stop you sweating, but by killing the bacteria your sweat has nothing to interact with and no odour is produced.
If the idea of blocking anything is already raising some red flags you’d be right to think so. We spoke to Laurie, founder of Natural Deodorant Co, to get some more information. “Conventional antiperspirants contain a gel-like substance that ‘blocks’ sweat from being released, which is not ideal as sweat is essential for good health and is your body’s in-built air-conditioning unit. Sweating allows you to maintain a safe body temperature and also send sodium back into the bloodstream to maintain salinity in the body. The gel that an antiperspirant forms over your sweat glands cannot simply be washed off either, sometimes lasting up to two weeks before being expelled.”
Traditional deodorants can also be problematic however and often contain aluminium compounds or alcohol to prevent odour which, as Laurie explains, can be damaging to both your skin and your overall health. “The underarms are extremely sensitive and delicate, with more than 20 lymph nodes and a high concentration of hair follicles and sweat glands. Potentially toxic chemicals such as aluminium can therefore easily aggravate the skin and can be absorbed into the body. Alcohol is sometimes used in ‘natural’ deodorants as it is has effective antibacterial properties, however it can eradicate good bacteria as well as the bad, leading to imbalances in skin pH. The use of alcohol can also irritate the skin, especially if you are shaving the area before applying deodorant.”
Instead, Laurie recommends using products that contain gentle antibacterial ingredients in combination. “Using safe ingredients ensures the natural skin flora remains in balance and your underarms don’t just stay fresh but stay healthy too. It’s ideal for a natural deodorant to contain oils or butters to nourish the skin, along with some powders to enable the deodorant to be absorbed gently into the skin without being abrasive.”
The Natural Deodorant Co have created a range of no-nasty deodorant blends with a fragrance for everyone, from Vanilla and Manuka to Lemon and Geranium. Each one is packaged in a sustainable glass jar that will slip seamlessly into your bathroom shelf and last up to 8 weeks, or a smaller 15ml size for your travel bag.
Each blend is made with organic coconut oil and wild fair trade shea butter to nourish the delicate underarm skin, whilst magnesium oxide and sodium bicarbonate provide total odour control so that you can feel confident and fresh whether you’re heading on holiday, working up a sweat in the gym, or just trying to keep cool on the tube.
Shop the Natural Deodorant Co collection here.
Featured image: Refinery 29
Words: Phoebe Grace Ede